Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Health Department’s plan for detained patients falls well short of what’s needed
Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Marcial Boo responded to the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) Building Better Support plan to address the number of patients inappropriately detained in secure hospitals
“Every day a person is detained in hospital unnecessarily is a day too many. It is therefore unacceptable, more than a decade after action was first promised, that hundreds of people with autism and learning disabilities are still being kept as in-patients when they could be receiving community care.
“In too many cases, patients are also subject to restraint and segregation, which can worsen their conditions and make it increasingly hard for them to go home. In extreme cases, there could be significant violations of human rights.
“The DHSC’s plan to address these concerns has been delayed two years by Covid, and we are pleased it has finally been published.
“However, it does not go far enough and appears to suggest that some patients will still be placed in hospitals rated as inadequate.
“We welcome the draft Mental Health Bill, which aims to reduce the number of inappropriately detained patients in the long term. But action must be taken immediately to move people out of unnecessary detention and into the community.
“The EHRC is exploring how best to use its legal powers to help patients and their families. This may include action in the courts.”
The EHRC is writing to DHSC outlining our concerns, which include:
- The suggestion that in a few circumstances, people will be admitted to a hospital rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission.
- The timescales for delivery are not urgent enough, particularly in light of the apparent breaches of human rights in in-patient settings reported over years.
- It is not clear how or when the plan will help people who are ready to be discharged today.
- The plan does not explain why earlier measures did not work, why targets have been missed, nor how the proposed actions will address previous failures.
- The spending commitments are unclear and there is no analysis of how each of the measures will reduce admissions.
In discussions with DHSC, the Care Quality Commission and NHS England, the EHRC has called for an enforceable right to independent living for disabled people.
We have developed a legal model to incorporate it into domestic law.
Latest News from
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Statement on Rico Quitongo’s race discrimination case24/11/2022 15:10:00
Footballer Rico Quitongo has been unsuccessful in his race discrimination claim against his former club and a club director.
Equality regulator briefs MSPs on gender recognition reform15/11/2022 13:38:00
Britain’s equality regulator, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has advised the Scottish and UK governments on the implications of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill for the operation of the Equality Act 2010.
Report published following EHRC’s ‘A status’ grading10/11/2022 10:20:00
Following the news last month that we have retained our A-status as a National Human Rights Institution, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) has now published its full report on all organisations it reviewed this session.
Britain’s equality watchdog takes action to prevent hair discrimination in schools27/10/2022 11:05:00
Pupils should not be stopped from wearing their hair in natural Afro styles at school, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) says in new guidance today.
Equality and Human Rights Commission re-accredited as ‘A status’ organisation17/10/2022 12:10:00
We have been re-accredited as an ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institution (NHRI).
EHRC urges governments to work together on gender recognition reform05/10/2022 13:10:00
In January this year, we called for more detailed consideration of proposals to reform the legal gender recognition process in Scotland.
Our response to allegations about mistreatment of people in Edenfield Centre Mental Health Unit30/09/2022 13:10:00
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has a duty to enforce equality laws and defend human rights. We therefore consider all allegations of unlawful activities carefully and take action where necessary.
Equality watchdog takes action to address discrimination in use of artificial intelligence02/09/2022 16:05:00
The use of artificial intelligence by public bodies is to be monitored by Britain’s equality regulator to ensure technologies are not discriminating against people.
28 organisations yet to report gender pay gap data06/07/2022 14:10:00
One-stop shopping giant Costco and aviation business Swissport are among 28 organisations that are yet to comply with their legal obligation and report their gender pay gap data for 2021–22, following the 30 March and 4 April deadlines.